Cynthia Tatman, 56, Fatally Struck on Stretch of Devon With No Sidewalks

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The 5800 block of West Devon, looking east. Police reported the crash site as the 6300 block, which has sidewalks. But ABC footage shows it actually took place several blocks east, on a stretch like this, with a 40 mph speed limit and no sidewalks, close to the North Branch Trail. Image: Google Street View

56-year-old Cynthia Tatman was fatally struck early Tuesday morning while jogging in the Norwood Park neighborhood on a four-lane, high-speed stretch of Devon Avenue.

At around 7:05 a.m., Tatman was running east in a westbound travel lane of Devon next to Caldwell Woods, police said. She lived on the 5800 block of North Navarre Avenue, and neighbors told ABC she jogged in the area regularly.

According to investigators, a westbound driver swerved to avoid hitting Tatman. However, they said the next motorist, driving a tan Honda CR-V SUV, did not have time to avoid the jogger and struck her. Tatman was transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The driver, whose SUV sustained front-end damage and a smashed windshield, stayed on the scene and was not immediately cited. Major Accidents is currently working to determine if the motorist will receive a citation, according to Police News Affairs.

The police stated that the crash took place on the 6300 block of Devon, which has has residences to the south, a 30 mph speed limit and sidewalks. However, footage from the ABC report shows that the crash site was actually on a stretch of Devon with forest preserves on both sides, a 40 mph speed limit, and no sidewalks. The ABC footage also shows that it was location where the North Branch Trail closely parallels Devon.

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Tatman lived on the 5800 block of North Navarre. Since ABC footage showing the crash took place on a stretch of Devon with no sidewalks, close to the North Branch Trail, indicates the location was no further west than the 5800 block. Image: Google Maps

This indicates that the crash happened no further west than the 5800 block. Since there are no intersections on Devon between Melvina Avenue and Caldwell Avenue, it’s relatively difficult to judge addresses on this stretch. Presumably the officer who filled out the crash report made an incorrect guess about the location.

It’s not clear why Tatman chose to go jogging on a high-speed segment of Devon with no sidewalks, rather than run on the car-free trail.

Another factor in the crash may have been high-speed driving. This stretch of Devon is a rare surface road within Chicago with a 40 mph speed limit, rather than the city’s default 30 mph limit. The lack of intersections encourages drivers to go even faster. Presumably, the speed of the drivers involved in the incident is one detail the police are currently trying to ascertain in order to determine if any citations are warranted..

Update 8/25 3:15 p.m.: I originally reported that the crash took place on the 6300 block of West Devon, as stated by Police News Affairs and all other local news outlets. After a Streetsblog reader pointed out the discrepancy between the CPD’s account and the ABC footage, I updated the post.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 16 (seven were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 4 (one was a hit-and-run crash)

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